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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Bernard Barton, [10 July 1823]

Contents vol. VI
Letters: 1796
Letters: 1797
Letters: 1798
Letters: 1799
Letters: 1800
Letters: 1801
Letters: 1802
Letters: 1803
Letters: 1804
Letters: 1805
Letters: 1806
Letters: 1807
Letters: 1808
Letters: 1809
Letters: 1810
Letters: 1811
Letters: 1812
Letters: 1814
Letters: 1815
Letters: 1816
Letters: 1817
Letters: 1818
Letters: 1819
Letters: 1820
Letters: 1821
Contents vol. VII
Letters: 1821
Letters: 1822
Letters: 1823
Letters: 1824
Letters: 1825
Letters: 1826
Letters: 1827
Letters: 1828
Letters: 1829
Letters: 1830
Letters: 1831
Letters: 1832
Letters: 1833
Letters: 1834
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III
List of Letters
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Produced by CATH
[p.m. 10 July, 1823.]

DEAR Sir—I shall be happy to read the MS. and to forward it; but T. and H. must judge for themselves of publication. If it prove interesting (as I doubt not) I shall not spare to say so, you may depend upon it. Suppose you direct it to Accots. Office, India House.

I am glad you have met with some sweetening circumstances to your unpalatable draught. I have just returned from Hastings, where are exquisite views and walks, and where I have given up my soul to walking, and I am now suffering sedentary contrasts. I am a long time reconciling to Town after one of these excursions. Home is become strange, and will remain so yet a while. Home is the most unforgiving of friends and always resents Absence; I know its old cordial looks will return, but they are slow in clearing up. That is one of the features of this our galley slavery, that peregrination ended makes things worse. I felt out of water (with all the sea about me) at Hastings, and just as I had learned to domiciliate there, I must come back to find a home which is no home. I abused Hastings, but learned its value. There are spots, inland bays, etc., which realise the notions of Juan Fernandez.

The best thing I lit upon by accident was a small country church (by whom or when built unknown) standing bare and single in the midst of a grove, with no house or appearance of habitation within a quarter of a mile, only passages diverging from it thro’ beautiful woods to so many farm houses. There it stands, like the first idea of a church, before parishioners were thought of, nothing but birds for its congregation, or like a Hermit’s oratory (the Hermit dead), or a mausoleum, its effect singularly impressive, like a church found in a desert isle to startle Crusoe with a home image; you must make out a vicar and a congregation from fancy, for surely none come there. Yet it wants not its pulpit, and its font, and all the seemly additaments of our worship.

Southey has attacked Elia on the score of infidelity, in the Quarterly, Article, “Progress of Infidels [Infidelity].” I had not, nor have, seen the Monthly. He might have spared an old friend such a construction of a few careless flights, that meant no harm to religion. If all his unguarded expressions on the subject were to be collected


But I love and respect Southey—and will not retort. I hate his review, and his being a Reviewer.

The hint he has droppd will knock the sale of the book on the head, which was almost at a stop before.

Let it stop. There is corn in Egypt, while there is cash at Leadenhall. You and I are something besides being Writers. Thank God.

Yours truly

C. L.